If you happen to stumble over a sleeping bag in the Science Center Atrium tonight—or any night this week—don’t be alarmed. It’s probably a member of the Beloit Solidarity group.
Comprised of a group of individuals from a wide cross-section of campus clubs, the group says it wants to “raise awareness, build community, and encourage dialogue about the ongoing struggles and peaceful demonstrations both locally and globally.”
Already the group has created a strong online persona, with a Wordpress blog, Twitter feed, and Facebook page. It’s also created a more obvious, physical, presence by setting up shop in the Science Center Atrium. The number of students sitting in the Atrium has fluctuated as people come and go to attend class and work, but the group is hoping for a steady presence, at least through the next several days.
According to group member India John’12, who elucidated some of Beloit Solidarity’s ideas in a video interview Tuesday afternoon, camping out in the Science Center is meant to create a public space where students, faculty, and staff can get up to speed on the capitol protests and other events, even global occurrences like the unrest in Tunisia and Egypt.
Addie Washington’13 says she knows some critics of the campus’s solidarity movement will say that sleeping in the Science Center won’t stop the Wisconsin governor’s Budget Repair Bill from passing, but it’s about more than that.
“It’s a lot more about the dialogue that’s surrounding it, and the community,” Washington says. “I plan on being here as much as I can.”